Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise? : An Imponderables Book

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-03-05
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publications
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Ponder, if you will ... What is the difference between a kit and a caboodle? Why don't people get goose bumps on their faces? Where do houseflies go in the winter? What causes that ringing sound in your ears?Pop-culture guru David Feldman demystifies these topics and so much more in Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise? -- the unchallenged source of answers to civilization's most nagging questions. Part of the Imponderablesr series and charmingly illustrated by Kassie Schwan, Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise? challenges readers with the knowledge about everyday life that encyclopedias, dictionaries, and almanacs just don't have. And think about it, where else are you going to get to the bottom of why hot dogs come ten to a package while hot dog buns come in eights?

Author Biography

David Feldman has a master's degree in popular culture from Bowling Green State University in Ohio

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xvii
What is the purpose of the warning label on a mattress? And what happens if I rip it off?p. 1
Why do dogs walk around in circles before lying down?p. 2
If nothing sticks to Teflon, how do they get Teflon to stick to the pan?p. 3
Why is the scoring system in tennis so weird?p. 3
Why have humans lost most of their body hair?p. 6
Why don't people get goosebumps on their faces?p. 8
Why doesn't countdown leader on films count all the way to one?p. 9
When a company sells lobster tails to restaurants and stores, what do they do with the rest of the lobster?p. 9
Why do they need twenty mikes at press conferences?p. 11
Why do some localities use salt and others use sand to treat icy roads?p. 12
Why is the telephone touch-tone key pad arranged differently from the calculator key pad?p. 14
What is the difference between a "kit" and a "caboodle"?p. 15
What is the purpose of the ball on top of a flagpole?p. 17
Why does Wayne Gretzky wear a ripped uniform?p. 18
Why is there always pork in cans of pork and beans?p. 19
How do military cadets find their caps after tossing them in the air upon graduation?p. 20
Why does American electricity run on A.C. rather than D.C.?p. 21
What is that sniffing noise boxers make when throwing punches?p. 22
Why, in any box of assorted chocolates, are the caramels square, the nougats rectangular, the nuts oval, and the creams circular?p. 24
Whatever happened to pay toilets?p. 25
When a pothole is formed on the road, why don't we see the displaced concrete?p. 27
Why do most cities in the United States put a maximum-height restriction on a fence a homeowner may put around his residence?p. 27
Why do your feet sweel up so much in airplanes?p. 31
Why are hamburger-bun bottoms so thin?p. 32
Why do golfers yell "fore" when warning of an errant golf shot?p. 34
Why are all executions in the United States held between midnight and seven A.M.?p. 34
Why do ants tend to congregate on sidewalks?p. 37
Why do American cars now have side-view mirrors on the passenger side with the message, "Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear?"p. 38
Why do dogs smell funny when they get wet?p. 40
Why do all dentist offices smell the same?p. 41
What are those large knobs between sets of escalators in department stores?p. 42
Why is Jack the nickname for John?p. 43
Which side gets the game ball when a football game ends in a tie?p. 44
Why do ketchup bottles have necks so narrow that a spoon won't fit inside?p. 44
Ivory Soap advertises its product as 99 and 44/100 percent pure-99 and 44/100 percent what? And what is the impure 56/100 percent of Ivory Soap?p. 46
Why do we grow lawns around our houses?p. 47
Why do many exterminators wear hard hats?p. 51
Who was the Emmy that the Emmy Award is named after?p. 52
Why don't dogs develop laryngitis, sore throats, voice changes, or great discomfort after barking continuously?p. 53
Why are there eighteen holes on a golf course?p. 54
What does 0[degree] in the Fahrenheit scale signify?p. 55
What does each one-degree increment in the Fahrenheit scale signify?p. 55
Why doesn't rain come down the chimney into the fireplace when smoke can get out the chimney?p. 57
Why do Curad bandage wrappers sparkle in the dark when you open them?p. 58
Why do garment labels often say "Professionally Dry-clean Only"?p. 59
What is the difference between "flotsam" and "jetsam"?p. 60
Why do doughnuts have holes?p. 62
Why does a newspaper tear smoothly vertically and raggedly horizontally?p. 64
Why are the Netherlands also called Holland and the Low Countries? And why are its people called Dutch?p. 65
What are those twitches and jerks that occasionally wake us just as we are falling asleep?p. 67
Why are there twenty-one guns in a twenty-one-gun salute?p. 68
Why do women tend to have higher voices than men? Why do short people tend to have higher voices than tall people?p. 70
Washington, D.C. streets are named alphabetically. Why is there no "J" Street?p. 71
What happens to the tread that wears off tires?p. 72
Why do whips make a cracking sound when snapped?p. 74
How did Xmas come to stand for Christmas?p. 75
Do batteries wear out faster if you turn up the volume of a radio?p. 76
Why do some ranchers place old boots on fenceposts?p. 77
Why do bananas, unlike other fruits, grow upward?p. 81
Why is there a black dot in the middle of otherwise white bird droppings?p. 83
Do toilet-seat covers really protect us against anything?p. 83
Why do sailors wear bell-bottom trousers?p. 84
Why doesn't sugar spoil or get moldy?p. 85
Why do nurses wear white? Why do surgeons wear blue or green when operating?p. 86
Why doesn't a "two-by-four" measure two inches by four inches?p. 87
Why is an acre 43,560 square feet?p. 89
Why do men's bicycles have a crossbar?p. 90
Why is royalty referred to as "blue-blooded"?p. 91
Why are people immune to their own body odor?p. 92
Why are the outside edges of the pages of many paperback books colored?p. 93
How do they shell pine nuts?p. 94
How can owners of small cemeteries make money? How can they plan their finances when they have to wait for people to die before they derive income?p. 95
Why are most homes painted white?p. 100
Why is one side of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil shiny and the other side dull?p. 102
Why do superficial paper cuts tend to hurt more than grosser cuts?p. 103
Why does the brightest setting of a three-way light bulb always burn out first?p. 104
How do three-way light bulbs work? How do the bulbs "know" at which intensity to shine?p. 105
Why do snakes dart out their tongues?p. 106
Where do they get that organ music in skating rinks?p. 107
What do Federal Express delivery people do after 10:30 A.M.?p. 109
Why do so many mass mailers use return envelopes with windows?p. 111
Why does the skin on the extremities wrinkle after a bath? And why only the extremities?p. 112
What happens to the razor blades that are thrown down used-blade slots in hotels?p. 113
Why doesn't evaporated milk have to be refrigerated?p. 114
Why is evaporated milk sold in soldered cans?p. 114
What causes the ringing sound you get in your ears?p. 115
How did chocolate bunnies for Easter come about?p. 116
Why do old women dye their hair blue?p. 117
What are the criteria for the placement of a "Dangerous Curve" or "Dangerous Turn" sign?p. 119
Why don't we ever see dead birds?p. 120
Why do all packaged bakery goods seem to be registered by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture?p. 121
How do they keep all the raisins in cereal boxes from falling to the bottom?p. 123
Why do runs in stockings usually run up?p. 124
Does putting women's hosiery in the freezer forestall runs?p. 125
Why do traffic signals use red, yellow, and green lights? Why is the red light on top, green light on the bottom, and yellow light in between?p. 126
Why are cows usually milked from the right side?p. 128
Why do many merchants ask customers to put their addresses and phone numbers on credit card slips?p. 129
On airplanes, why do our ears pop and bother us more on descent than on ascent?p. 130
Where do houseflies go during the winter?p. 133
Where does white pepper come from?p. 135
What purpose do wisdom teeth serve?p. 137
Why are ancient cities buried in layers? And where did the dirt come from?p. 138
What's the difference between an X-rated movie and an XXX-rated movie? Why isn't there an "XX" rating?p. 141
Where does a new speed limit begin? Does it start at the speed limit sign, at some point beyond the sign, or where the sign becomes clearly visible?p. 143
If the national speed limit is 55 miles per hour, why do speedometers go up to 85 miles per hour and higher?p. 144
What is the purpose of public and underarm hair, the only body hair that men and women share in abundance?p. 146
Why do construction crews put pine trees on top of buildings they are working on?p. 147
Why aren't whitewall auto tires as wide as they used to be?p. 149
Why do clocks run "clockwise"?p. 150
On clocks and watches with roman numerals, why is four usually noted as IIII rather than IV?p. 151
Why are rain clouds dark?p. 152
Why are so many corporations incorporated in Delaware?p. 153
Why does Coca-Cola from a small bottle taste better than Coca-Cola from a large bottle or can?p. 157
Why and when was 1982-1984 chosen to replace 1967 as the base year for the Consumer Price Index? Why wasn't it changed after ten years?p. 159
Why do firehouses have dalmatians?p. 162
Doughnut-shop employees always pick up the doughnuts with a tissue so that their hands never touch the doughnuts. Why do they then put the same tissue in with the doughnuts for the customer to carry home-germs and all?p. 164
Why is scoring three goals in hockey called a hat trick?p. 165
What are the names on the bottom of grocery sacks?p. 166
Why do Chinese restaurants use monosodium glutamate?p. 168
Why do old men wear their pants higher than young men?p. 171
Why are Oreos called "Oreos"?p. 173
What are those funny numbers on the bottom of copyright pages in books?p. 175
Why is 40 percent alcohol called 80 proof?p. 177
Why are humans most comfortable at 72[degree] F? Why not at 98.6[degree] F?p. 178
Why do they call large trucks "semis"? Semi-whats?p. 179
Why does San Francisco sourdough bread taste different from other sourdough French breads?p. 180
Does the U.S. Postal Service add flavoring to the glue on postage stamps to make the taste more palatable?p. 182
Why do wagon wheels in westerns appear to be spinning backward?p. 183
Why does unscented hair spray smell?p. 184
Why does heat lightning always seem far away? And why don't you ever hear thunder during heat lightning?p. 185
Why can't hair grow on a vaccination mark?p. 186
What kind of hen lays extra-large eggs? What determines the size categories of chicken eggs?p. 186
Why do some chickens lay brown eggs and others lay white eggs?p. 189
How did the expression "two bits" come to mean 25 cents? How did "two bit" come to mean "cheap"?p. 191
Why did Volkswagen discontinue making the "Bug"?p. 192
Why are the flush handles on toilets on the left side?p. 195
Why does the price of gas end in nine-tenths of a cent?p. 197
When I open the hot-water tap, why does the sound of the running water change as it gets hot?p. 199
The measurement of "one foot" was meant to approximate the length of a man's foot. How did they decide how long a meter should be?p. 200
Why does the moon appear bigger at the horizon than up in the sky?p. 202
If we see mockingbirds during the day and hear them at night, when do they sleep?p. 205
Why were Phillips screws and screwdrivers developed?p. 206
Why do trucks now say their contents are "flammable" when they used to say "inflammable"?p. 207
Why can't they make newspapers that don't smudge?p. 209
How and why do horses sleep standing up?p. 212
Why is seawater blue and tap water clear? Why does the color of the ocean range from blue to red?p. 213
Why don't kitchen sinks have an overflow mechanism?p. 214
Why do you have to dry-clean raincoats?p. 216
What is the purpose of the white half-moons on the bases of our fingernails and toenails? And why don't they grow out with the nails?p. 218
Can raisins be made from seeded grapes?p. 218
When a fly alights on the ceiling, does it perform a loop or a roll in order to get upside down?p. 220
How can "perpetual care" be assured in cemeteries after they run out of space for new plots?p. 221
What is the purpose of the pinholes around the sides of screw caps on soft-drink bottles?p. 223
Why are military medals worn on the left?p. 223
Why do bicycle tires go flat when the bike isn't used for long periods of time?p. 224
How do they print the "M&M" on M&M's chocolate candies?p. 227
Why are there no seams on M&M's?p. 228
What does M&M stand for?p. 228
Why are there more brown M&M's than any other color, and how do they determine the ratio of colors?p. 228
Why did they take away red M&M's? Why have they put them back recently?p. 229
How do manufacturers decide whether freezers go on the top or the bottom of refrigerators?p. 230
Why do hot dogs come ten to a package and hot-dog buns come eight to a package?p. 232
Frustrables, or the ten "most wanted" Imponderables
Why do you so often see one shoe lying on the side of the road?p. 236
Why are buttons on men's shirts and jackets arranged differently from those on women's shirts?p. 237
Why do the English drive on the left and just about everybody else on the right?p. 238
Why is yawning contagious?p. 238
Why do we give apples to teachers?p. 238
Why does looking up at the sun cause us to sneeze?p. 238
Why does the first puff of a cigarette smell better than subsequent ones?p. 238
Why do women in the United States shave their armpits?p. 239
Why don't you ever see really tall old people?p. 239
Why do only older men seem to have hairy ears?p. 239
Acknowledgmentsp. 241
Indexp. 247
Master Index of Imponderabilityp. 253
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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